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COVID-19: KIMS gets 200 portable ventilators

India had converted many of the challenges posed by the pandemic into opportunities: Pralhad Joshi

As many as 200 portable ventilators, manufactured by Aequs company, for treating COVID-19 patients were handed over to the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hubballi on Saturday.

In a function at KIMS on Saturday, a representative of Aequs Praveenkumar Naik handed over the equipment to Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi and Minister for Large and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar, in the presence of Director of KIMS Ramalingappa Antaratani.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Joshi said that India had converted many of the challenges posed by the pandemic into opportunities.

“Initially there was only one virology labortatory conducting COVID-19 tests. Now around 2,000 laboratories are conducting nearly 1 lakh tests. We have now reached a stage where we can export PPE kits, ventilators, and essential medicines to other countries. We will build Atma Nirbhar Bharat as per the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. During the pandemic, many corporate firms and helped under their corporate social responsibiity (CSR) initiatives. Coal India had donated ₹5 crore, IOCL ₹50 lakh, and Aequs had initially given four ventilators to KIMS. “Now they have donated 200 Aqovents [portable ventilators] which they developed and manufactured,” he said.

Mr. Joshi said that as the Union government was bent on implementing ‘Make In India’ project in toto, no Indian company would be allowed to give construction contracts worth less than ₹200 crore to foreign companies. This apart, any foreign company would have to take the permission from the Union Home Ministry before investing in India, he said, adding that the country’s economy was slowly recovering.

Mr. Shettar took exception to alleged malpractices by private hospitals in the name of COVID-19 treatment and said that some of them were charging ₹5 lakh to ₹10 lakh for treatment. Fleecing patients at a time of health crisis was unethical, he added.

Lauding government doctors, the Minister said that they had done excellent job in fighting the pandemic. Dr. Naik of Aequs said that if there was a demand for more by KIMS, they would provided additional portable ventilators.

Portable ventilators would also be distributed with the help of philanthropic organisations, he said.

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